Self-driving car makes a run for the border


Engineers at Google have a definite vision for the future. Thankfully for Taco Bell, that vision includes sour cream and your choice of salsa.

The autonomous vehicle technology that Google has been quietly- and not-so-quietly perfecting over the past few years just drove a blind guy through a Taco Bell drive-through in Silicon Valley.

A video released this week by Google shows clinically blind Steve Mahan getting behind the wheel of a Google autonomous Prius, then sitting back and relaxing. The car cruises through a neighborhood, into the parking lot, and waits patiently as Mahan orders a burrito of extremely questionable nutritious value.

The route was highly planned and carefully programmed, but the demonstration opens our eyes to how far Google wants to take the self-driving concept, and how quickly it may be arriving.

Mahan was clearly tickled by the experience of behind the wheel, quipping in the Google-produced video:

“This is some of the best driving I’ve ever done.”

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as assistant professor at San Francisco State University.

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